"James Thibeault's The Deacon's Folly is a bleak but strangely engaging Brothers Grimm sort of fable, tottering precariously between both the reality and the dream-memory of young Devon, the story's hero. Devon is trapped in the terrifying landscape of his own uncertain perceptions and the cruel distortions imposed on him by those who should have been his caretakers. But once nudged to it by the story's obese and hapless Deacon, Devon enters onto a violent quest for the truth. He pursues that quest relentlessly, seeking both what is monstrously real and what might just possibly yield some small measure of hope and love...if he doesn't destroy it himself along the way."—Fr. Barry Bercier, Assumption College When a backwoods town has a barbecue, it's to mock a teenage boy who nailed himself to a tree house. While Devon’s not the brightest bulb and has no recollection of his childhood, he’s a kind soul who seems friendly enough. Still, the whole town despises him. Only the new deacon in town takes sympathy towards the boy and is determined to discover Devon’s forgotten past, and the reason why it is never discussed. Everything about Devon’s life is a mystery, from the whereabouts of his parents to Devon’s own memories. In the town, he is treated more like an animal than a person. Forced to live outside, Devon is looked after by his alcoholic guardian, Mr. Audette. Besides the deacon, the only person who takes pity on Devon is Mr. Audette’s daughter, Caroline, who has been running the household since her mother died years ago. Despite Caroline and Devon living next to each other, Mr. Audette forbids Caroline from socializing with him. Few want to be near Devon. He spends most of his time alone and talking to the moon. At night, he suffers from dreams of people screaming. He doesn’t understand what it means, but tries to ignore it as best he can. For years, all Devon has done is block the torments in his head, the mockery from the town, and even his own memories. The deacon is convinced it’s time to know the truth. At its core this book is about a young man who is forced by an entire town to come to terms with his disability and his efforts to learn to live in a community of individuals of lesser humanity than himself.
- Any Age